Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cold War Commander Hits and Saves

I decided to calculate the number of dice needed to score a hit against a target in the open for Cold War Commander/Blitzkrieg commander.   The number of dice for each hit needed was set at two and multiplied for the effect of no saving throw up to a maximum saving throw value of two.  The following table was the result:                                    save value

Hits No Save 6 5 4 3 2
1 2 2.4 3 4 6 12
2 4 4.8 6 8 12 24
3 6 7.2 9 12 18 36
4 8 9.6 12 16 24 48
5 10 12 15 20 30 60
6 12 14.4 18 24 36 72


As can be seen in some cases units with no saving throw are harder to eliminate than some units with saving throws.   Where the number of dice are equal, I would choose the higher number of hits with the lower saving throw as there is the possibility that all dice might score hits and not be saved causing a vehicle with fewer hits to be eliminated when rolling less dice. 

While looking at it and comparing the hit and save values for various vehicles in the Cold War Commander army lists, I realized that I had seen some similar values at Bob MacKenzie's website for the modern version of Command Decision.  http://homepage.ntlworld.com/bob_mackenzie/

The data for the modern version of command decision was gathered from a lot of sources.  While it may not all be accurate there are quite a few similarities between the number of dice needed for the hit/save values for vehicles in Cold War Commander and the armor values listed for command decision.   There are also some that vary.   One item that really caught my attention was the armor value of the initial version of the M1 Abrams.  Based on the information on Bob's site the hit/save values for the three versions of the M1 would be
M1A1            6/4              M1A1HA      5/3     M1A2           6/3 These compare to CWC as follows:
M1 (105)       6/3              M1 (120)       6/3     M1HA          6/2

The above would tend to indicate that the early version of the M1 is over-rated in CWC.   Also, the 6/2 value for the M1HA om CWC is twice that of the M1 (120) version and that a 4/2 value would be the next level.  But what about other NATO and Warsaw Pact tanks?   CWC values are given first and CD values are second

Challenger 1       6/3     5/3   lower
Challenger 2     6/3     6/3    same
Chieftain late      6/3     5/3    lower
Chieftain early    6/3     6/4  lower
LeClerc            6/3     6/3  same
AMX30             5/5    4/3 or 5/3 late, 6/5 early   better or much better
Leopard 2          5/4    5/3   better
Leopard 2A5/6  6/3     6/3  same  (note: CD rates leopard 2A5/6 as having most armor)
Leopard 1          5/5    4/4 or maybe 3/3(6/5)   better
Leopard 1A4    5/4     5/4  same
T90                    6/3    5/3 or 6/3 same
T80                    6/4    6/4 or 5/3 depending on version. same or similar
T80 early           5/4   5/4  same
T72                    5/4   5/3 6/4 or 5/4 depending on model   same
T64                    5/4   5/4 or 6/4 depending on model  same
T62  late            5/4   5/4  same
T62 early            4/4   6/5  better
T55 late              5/5   6/5  or 5/4 depending on model  better
T55 early           4/4  4/4    same

As can be seen many of the above are very close.  There are some other factors that can affect the hit/save values, such as low profiles..   British and American tanks are rated lower in CD, while German tanks are rated better.    Russian tanks come in a great variety of model variations.  Much like the continual upgrades made to the Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 or the Chieftain.  There are nine different Leopard 1's listed in the CD tables and five different Leopard 2's.    CD has at least five different variants for most of the Russian tanks with the T72 having twelve different models.

150TH Anniversary Battle of Stones River

On February 9th the Battle of Stones River or Murfreesboro was fought at the South Bay Game Club.   This was fought using From Manassas to Appomatox.  The Confederates started the battle by attacking the Union right flank reforming their forces in the center and advancing Breckinridge's division on their right.

Historically both sides had planned to attack the opposing left flank, but the Confederates were able to launch their attack first and drove the Union army back.   The Union army eventually reformed and held its ground.    On the following day Bragg renewed the attack, but was not able to make any progress.   Bragg later withdrew leaving the Union in control of the battlefield.

The re-fight was a see-saw affair with both sides having bad luck when taking morale checks.  The Confederate left made some initial advances, but its morale failed causing it to lose several turns reforming for another assault.   In the center Polk's corps reformed and spent most of the battle throwing back Union attacks.

The Union forces had decided to be agressive.   They launched an attack against Cheatham's division in the center with two of their divisions, but were thrown back   The Union left wing then proceeded to cross Stones River in order to attack Breckinridges division.

After some heavy fighting Cheathams division retreated across Stones River and took up position near Murfreesboro after being rallied by Bragg..  Wither's division was able to redress the situation when it attacked out of the woods and hit the Union center in the flank.  Their attack caught Rosecrans in the melee resulting in his death. Whither's division then found itself in a difficult situation with forces facing it from the front and a Union division advancing on it from the rear.   Fortunately for the Rebs the morale of the division advancing on it from the rear cracked and it fell back.   The Rebs were able to reform near the bridges so they would not be flanked.

On the south end of the battle the Confederates facing Union troops had fallen back in disarray, but the Union troops refused to advance from their positions.  Had they done so they might have destroyed the two divisions of Hardee's corps.  By the end of the battle both the Union right wing and Hardee's corps on the south end had part of their forces exhausted and were not making much headway against each other.   The Confederate cavalry on the south end had made a couple of valiant charges against the Union infantry and though they had driven them back were not able to capitalize on their success as the Union infantry quickly reformed.

By the noon turn both sides received some cavalry re-enforcements

Meanwhile the Union left wing had begun to catch up with the Breckinridge's division which had fallen back quite a ways due to failing morale.    Bragg managed to halt their retreat just north of his headquarters.  The Union left wing finally caught up with Breckinridge and after some hard fighting almost destroyed his division.   The resulting route by Breckinridge also swept away Cheatham's division and left Whthers trapped on the west side of Stones River.

At this point the Confederates conceded the game.   We started about 10:30 and finished 14 turns by 3:30.  Losses were fairly heavy on both sides with at least two Union divisions exhausted and several others approaching that point.   The Confederates did take three stands of Union infantry prisoner, but the results of the battle would result in their rescue.

Infantry figures are a mixture of Heroics and Ros, Baccus and Rapier.  All cavalry and artillery are from Heroics and Ros.   Buildings are from PaperTerrain.  Trees are from an ebay dealer.

John Rigby was Rosecrans, Peter Michels was Thomas Crittenden, Bill McHugh was George Thomas, Alan Sissenwen was Alexander McCook, Gregg was Braxton Bragg, Manny Granillo was Polk. and Robert Packard was Hardee.
 View of the turnpike from Murfreesboro
 Initial starting positions
 View from the Union side
 early stages of the battle
 Initial Union attacks in the center have been thrown back.
Cheatham's division under heavy attack.
 South end of the battlefield.  Confederates are re-grouping for another advance against the Union lines
View from the north end of the battlefield near the end.  Union left wing advances on Breckinridge.  Murfreesboro was actually on the edge of the table but had been moved in to avoid damaging it by players leaning over the table
 Union left wing destroys Breckinridge's division.
South flank of the battlefield.  Union lines are still holding after being pushed by by Rebs.
 The order of battle is listed below.   Each stand represents 500 infantry, 300 cavalry, or 12 guns.  Ground scale is one inch = 100 yards.  The complete scenario file can be found at the FMTA yahoo group

Union
Army of the Cumberland – General William Rosecrans
          Pioneer Brigade
four stands of infantry – average, rifle musket
          Cavalry – General David Stanley (independent command)
                             4 stands of cavalry – average, muzzle loading carbine
                             3 stands of cavalry – breach loading carbine
                             6# rifles
Right Wing – General Alexander McCook
                   1st Division – Brigadier General Jefferson Davis
                             9 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             6# smoothbore cannon
                             10# Parrot
                   2nd Division – General Richard Johnson
                             12 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             6# rifle
                   3rd Division – General Phillip Sheridan
                             10 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             12# Napoleon
          Center – General George Thomas
                   1st Division – General Lovell Rousseu
                             12 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             10# Parrot
                   2nd Division – General James Negley
                             11 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             12# Howitzer
                   Corps Troops
                             Part of 3rd Division
                             5 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             6# smoothbore
          Left Wing – General Thomas Crittenden
                   1st Division – General Thomas Wood
                             10 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             6# smoothbore
                   2nd Division – General John Palmer
                             9 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             12# howitzer
                             6# rifle
                   3rd Division – General Horatio Van Cleve
                             8 stands of infantry – average, rifle muskets
                             10# Parrot
Confederate
Army of Tennessee – General Braxton Bragg
          Cavalry – Brigadier General Joseph Wheeler (Independent command)
                   6 stands of cavalry – average, muzzle loading carbine
                   12# howitzer
          Wharton’s Cavalry – Brigadier General Wharton (Independent command)
                   5 stands of cavalry – average, shotgun
          Polk’s Corps – Lt. General Leonidas Polk
                   Cheatham’s Division – Major General Benjamin Cheatham
                             13 stands of infantry – average, rifle musket
                             12# howitzer
                   Wither’s Division – Major General Jones Wither
                             15 stands of infantry – average, rifle musket
                             6# smoothbore
                             12# Napoleon
Hardee’s Corps – Lt. General William Hardee
          Breckinridge’s Division – Major General John Breckinridge
                   15 stands of infantry – average, rifle musket
                   6# smoothbore
                   12# howitzer
          Cleburne’s Division – Major General Patrick Cleburne
                   12 stands of infantry – average, rifle musket
                   6# smoothbore
          McCown’s Division – Major General J. P. McCown
                   9 stands of infantry – average, rifle musket
                   12# Napoleon
                   3” rifle

1944 Eastern Front Scenario

In January I ran a 1944 Eastern Front scenario using Blitzkrieg Commander at the GameKastle in Fremont.   This was a Russian Mechanized Corps assault against an entrenched German defense.   Russian forces followed a set schedule of appearance while the Germans drew their forces from a selection of predetermined forces.   The two front line battle groups were KG Gerbel and a Falschirmjager battalion.  The second line was KG Sturm.   Surprisingly, KG Sturm has been drawn by the Germans in each of the games that i have run.  John Leary and Tibor Ipavic commanded the Germans, while I helped Dan with the Russians.

The Germans started in entrenched positions using hidden deployment.  They also had several minefields.   Each battalion had an off-table 105mm battery in support and there was an off-table 155mm battery that either battalion could call.  The Russians had nine batteries of 75mm artillery, 9 batteries of 120mm mortars, and two batteries of 122mm rocket launchers.   The 75mm guns had two turns of smoke assets and eight turns of high explosive assets.   The mortars had ten turns of high explosive assets.  The rocket launchers had four turns of high explosive assets and could only fire every other turn.   Some of the Russian artillery fire was able to damage the German defenders, but much of it fell on empty ground.   The major town in the German rear was reduced to rubble though the German reserves near it were not affected.

A while back I created several fictional battle groups for Blitzkrieg Commander.   Each of these battle groups has a composition that will vary somewhat from year to year.  The Germans have about 10 different battalion sized formations, including a falschirmjager battalion, a panzerjager battalion, a panzer battalion, a recon battalion, a motorized/panzergrenadier battalion, an understrength infantry battalion, a volksgrenadier battalion, and several mixed composition kampfgruppes.  The Russians also have several different formations they can choose from.  These include two infantry brigades/regiments, two tank brigades, a heavy tank brigade/regiment, a group of assault gun battalions, and some miscellaneous formations.

The initial Russian force was the 2nd infantry brigade.   This was divided into two equal sized formations of two battalions each by adding a second CO and a second infantry gun, and replacing the 120mm mortar with an 81mm mortar.  The initial Russian attack made slow progress, averaging just over one activation per turn per infantry battalion.  The two battalions in the center were barely able to make one activation per turn while the two flanking battalions outpaced the center ones.   Dan's right flank battalion took heavy casualties as it advanced on the hill in front of it.  The arrival of the assault guns on turn four helped and Dan was able to clear the Germans from the hill.

Both sides did roll a couple of blunders, but they had little effect or actually helped..

On the Russian left their lead infantry elements started making contact with the falschirmjagers.   Both sides blazed away at each other to little effect.   We had reached turn eight, but had to end the game as two of the players had previous engagements they had to attend.

Dan provided the hills and the fields.   The buildings are from PaperTerrain  http://www.paperterrain.com/ and are from the north Russian set and European set.   Infantry and anti-tank guns are from Heroics and Ros while vehicles are all GHQ
Map of the battle.
Dan waiting for game to begin.
 Tibor survey's the deployment of KG Gerbil.
 John deploys the falschirmjagers.
 Initial Russian right flank advance
First turn of the battle.
 The Russian left flank advances
 The fight for the hill

 Center of the Russian advance.  Russian assault guns have arrived and the right flank battalion is attacking the German defenders on the hill
Russians advance towards falschrimjager positions
 Russian assault guns pound the German defenders on the hill.
 Russian left flank advances into the woods making contact with the falschirmjagers.
A listing of the units that made onto the table is given below.   The anti-tank guns and IS2's in the last Russian formation were due to arrive later.   The Germans also had an additional off-table battalion available as re-enforcements.  The Russians had another three infantry battalions, seven tank battalions and two smg battalions available along with the IS2's and anti-tank guns.
 
KG Sturm Late War
Quantity Troops Arm Move AT AP Assault Hits Save Cost
1 CO (CV9) CMD 60 - 3/30 - 6 6 120 [120]
4 HQ (CV8) CMD 40 - 2/30 - 4 6 60 [240]
1 FAO (CV7) CMD 40 - - - 4 6 30 [30]
7 Infantry Unit (Heer) INF 10 - 4/30 4 6 - 50 [350]
4 Support Unit (MG, MG-34/42) INF 10 - 3/60 2 5 - 40 [160]
3 Support Unit (Mortar, 81mm) INF 10 3/120 3/120 2 5 - 75 [225]
3 Support Unit (Mortar, 120mm) INF - 5/120 5/120 2 4 - 100 [300]
2 Panzer Unit (Pzkpfw VI, Tiger I) ARM 20 5/100 3/100 4 6 4 230 [460]
1 Assault Gun Unit (StuG-III, 75mm lang) ARM 20 4/80 3/80 3 4 5 135 [135]
7 Transport Unit (Half-Tracks) TRN 20 - - - 3 - 15 [75]
10 Transport Unit (Trucks) TRN 20 - - - 3 - 15 [150]
AT: Anti-Tank, AP: Anti-Personnel, R: Restricted, O: Open
Tactical Doctrine
Flexible tactical doctrine (25cm initiative distance; HQs may issue orders to units in other formations without penalty)
Special Rules
-1 modifier to die roll for air superiority until September 1944, -2 modifier after that
Infantry units may receive two upgrades each (Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck)
Infiltration: +1 to command value for flank deployment
Note 1. Panzer Unit (Pzkpfw VI, Tiger I)
Tough: Flank hits do not reduce armour save
Note 2. Transport Unit (Trucks)
May transport one infantry or infantry support unit, or may tow one gun
Summary
Breakpoint 10
2275 points 

Gerbel (November 1944)
Quantity Troops Arm Move AT AP Assault Hits Save Cost
1 CO (CV9) CMD 60 - 3/30 - 6 6 120 [120]
5 HQ (CV8) CMD 40 - 2/30 - 4 6 60 [300]
2 FAO (CV7) CMD 40 - - - 4 6 30 [60]
3 Infantry Unit (Heer) INF 10 - 4/30 4 6 - 50 [150]
5 Infantry Unit (Fallschirmjaeger) INF 10 - 5/30 5 6 - 70 [350]
2 Infantry Unit (Heer, conscript) INF 10 - 3/30 3 6 - 30 [60]
3 Support Unit (MG, MG-34/42) INF 10 - 3/60 2 5 - 40 [120]
2 Support Unit (ATG, 75mm, Pak-40) INF 5 4/80 3/80 2 4 - 105 [210]
5 Support Unit (Mortar, 81mm) INF 10 3/120 3/120 2 5 - 75 [375]
1 Support Unit (Mortar, 120mm) INF - 5/120 5/120 2 4 - 100 [100]
2 Support Unit (IG, 75mm, le.IG-18) INF 10 2/40 3/80 2 4 - 80 [160]
4 Panzer Unit (StuG-III, 75mm lang) ARM 20 4/80 3/80 3 4 5 135 [135]
4 Transport Unit (Trucks) TRN 20 - - - 3 - 15 [60]
AT: Anti-Tank, AP: Anti-Personnel, R: Restricted, O: Open
Tactical Doctrine
Flexible tactical doctrine (25cm initiative distance; HQs may issue orders to units in other formations without penalty)
Special Rules
-1 modifier to die roll for air superiority until September 1944, -2 modifier after that
   Infantry units may receive two upgrades each (Panzerfaust 65 pts. and Panzerschreck 50 pts.)
   Infiltration: +1 to command value for flank deployment
Note 1. Infantry Unit (Fallschirmjaeger)
Elite: No command penalty for assaulting the enemy and deduct one die when rolling for suppression/fall-back
Note 2. Infantry Unit (Volkstuurm)
Green.  May not use initiative to aqssault. Add one die for fallback/suppression
Note 3. Transport Unit (Trucks)
May transport one infantry or infantry support unit, or may tow one gun
Summary
Breakpoint 15
5th FallschirmJaeger (June 1944)
Quantity Troops Arm Move AT AP Assault Hits Save Cost
1 CO (CV9) CMD 60 - 3/30 - 6 6 120 [120]
3 HQ (CV8) CMD 40 - 2/30 - 4 6 60 [180]
1 FAO (CV7) CMD 40 - - - 4 6 30 [30]
7 Infantry Unit (Fallschirmjaeger) INF 10 - 5/30 5 6 - 70 [490]
1 Support Unit (MG, MG-34/42) INF 10 - 3/60 2 5 - 40 [40]
1 Support Unit (ATG, 75mm, Pak-40) INF 5 4/80 3/80 2 4 - 105 [105]
4 Support Unit (Mortar, 81mm) INF 10 3/120 3/120 2 5 - 75 [300]
1 Support Unit (IG, 75mm, le.IG-18) INF 10 2/40 3/80 2 4 - 80 [80]
14 Transport Unit (Trucks) TRN 20 - - - 3 - 15 [210]
AT: Anti-Tank, AP: Anti-Personnel, R: Restricted, O: Open
Tactical Doctrine
Flexible tactical doctrine (25cm initiative distance; HQs may issue orders to units in other formations without penalty)
Special Rules
-1 modifier to die roll for air superiority until September 1944, -2 modifier after that
Infantry units may receive two upgrades each (Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck)
Infiltration: +1 to command value for flank deployment
Note 1. Infantry Unit (Fallschirmjaeger)
Elite: No command penalty for assaulting the enemy and deduct one die when rolling for suppression/fall-back
Note 2. Transport Unit (Trucks)
May transport one infantry or infantry support unit, or may tow one gun
Summary
Breakpoint 13
1555 points 

Russian Army, Late Eastern Front (July 1944)

Quantity Troops Arm Move AT AP Assault Hits Save Cost Notes
1 CO (CV8) CMD 60 - 3/30 - 6 6 90 [90]
4 HQ (CV7) CMD 40 - 2/30 - 4 6 30 [120]
2 FAO (CV6) CMD 40 - - - 4 6 15 [30]
32 Infantry Unit (Regulars) INF 10 - 3/30 4 6 - 40 [1280]
8 Infantry Unit (SMG Troops) INF 10 - 6/10 5 6 - 65 [520] #1
8 Support Unit (MG, Maxim) INF 10 - 3/60 2 5 - 40 [320]
3 Support Unit (Mortar, 82mm) INF 10 3/120 3/120 2 5 - 75 [225]
2 Support Unit (Mortar, 120mm) INF - 5/120 5/120 2 4 - 100 [200]
1 Support Unit (IG, 76mm) INF 10 2/40 3/80 2 4 - 80 [80]
3 Transport Unit (Trucks) TRN 20 - - - 3 - 15 [45] #2
AT: Anti-Tank, AP: Anti-Personnel, R: Restricted, O: Open

Tactical Doctrine
Rigid tactical doctrine (15cm initiative distance; +1 to the CV if all units under command carry out the same action; add one to the breakpoint per 1000 points; HQs can only issue orders to units in their own formation)

Special Rules
+1 modifier to die roll for air superiority until September 1944, +2 thereafter on the Eastern Front, full air superiority in the Far East



Note 1. Infantry Unit (SMG Troops)
Tank Desant: May be carried on one tank unit
May not receive any infantry upgrades
LMG: 1/30 attack against soft-targets
Note 2. Transport Unit (Trucks)
May transport one infantry or infantry support unit, or may tow one gun
Summary
Breakpoint 30
2910 points 
Russian Army, Late Eastern Front 

Quantity Troops Arm Move AT AP Assault Hits Save Cost Notes
1 CO (CV8) CMD 60 - 3/30 - 6 6 90 [90]
1 HQ (CV7) CMD 40 - 2/30 - 4 6 30 [30]
1 HQ (CV8) CMD 40 - 2/30 - 4 6 60 [60]
1 Support Unit (Anti-Tank Team) INF 10 2/20 1/30 3 6 - 50 [50] #1
8 Heavy Tank Unit (IS-2) ARM 20 6/80 5/100 4 6 4 245 [1960] #2
4 Assault Gun Unit (SU-76) ARM 20 2/40 3/80 2 3 6 80 [320] #3 R/O
2 Assault Gun Unit (ISU-122) ARM 20 6/80 5/100 4 6 4 235 [470] #6 R
4 Assault Gun Unit (ISU-152) ARM 20 6/60 6/100 4 6 4 240 [960] #7 R
3 Anti-Tank Unit (ATG, 76mm) AT 5 3/60 3/80 2 3 - 85(255)
3 Anti-Tank Unit (ATG, 57mm) AT 5 3/60 2/60 2 4 - 75 [225]
4 Anti-Tank Unit (SPAT, SU-85) AT 25 4/80 3/80 3 5 5 145 [580] R #4
3 Transport Unit (Trucks) TRN 20 - - - 3 - 15 [45] #5
AT: Anti-Tank, AP: Anti-Personnel, R: Restricted, O: Open

Tactical Doctrine
Rigid tactical doctrine (15cm initiative distance; +1 to the CV if all units under command carry out the same action; add one to the breakpoint per 1000 points; HQs can only issue orders to units in their own formation)

Special Rules
+1 modifier to die roll for air superiority until September 1944, +2 thereafter on the Eastern Front, full air superiority in the Far East



Note 1. Support Unit (Anti-Tank Team)
Double the number of attacks against AFVs in close assault
Note 2. Heavy Tank Unit (IS-2)
Tough: Flank hits do not reduce armour save
Note 3. Assault Gun Unit (SU-76)
No Machine Guns: No bonus for firing at soft-targets
Note 4. Anti-Tank Unit (SPAT, SU-85)
No Machine Guns: No bonus for firing at soft-targets
Note 5. Transport Unit (Trucks)
May transport one infantry or infantry support unit, or may tow one gun
Note 6. Assault Gun Unit (ISU-122)
Tough: Flank hits do not reduce armour save
No Machine Guns: No bonus for firing at soft-targets
Note 7. Assault Gun Unit (ISU-152)
Tough: Flank hits do not reduce armour save
No Machine Guns: No bonus for firing at soft-targets
Summary
Breakpoint 13
4790 points